Gene Expression and Systems Biology (homework)
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7.1 years ago

Critically discuss the following statement. Gene expression data and systems biology is allowing us to understand the control of complex traits?

Im havin bit of trouble tackling this question? any help on what I should write about or the points i shud mention would be much appreciated. I keep seeing articles about eQTL and QTL are these relevant as well? 

gene homework • 2.0k views
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Presumably you should mention things that have been talked about in your class...

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we havent talked about this in class yet this is sort of a summer assignment essay! and i am trying to understand what exactly i must write about

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You can not ask people in a web forum to solve the assignment for you. What you can do is to write here your opinion and ideas, and ask people to comment it. If you post here a 25 lines description of how you would answer, I will give you my opinion and tell you how to improve it.
 

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I keep seeing articles about eQTL and QTL are these relevant? or should look into multi-gene traits, maybe pick my favourite illness (e.g. autism) and see how it is hereditary. Whole-genome sequencing is important tool in tracing such issues because it gives wide overview and a lot of genetic information about Patient.

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Seems pretty straightforward. If you know what gene expression data is, what systems biology is, and what complex traits are then you know where you need to start doing your research and writing.

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Does anyone know what systems biology is, besides a buzz word ? :)

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As far as I'm concerned it's just a buzz word for "I'm a biologist and I can use math!"

Interestingly, in neuroscience a systems-level approach has a more useful meaning (systems neuroscientists work at the network level, which typically requires more advanced math skills). Having originally been a neuroscientist, I've always been confused when people who work on modeling molecular pathways say that they work at the systems level (to me, they're just computational biologists).

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By that same token a neuroscientist who does mathematical modelling is also "just" a computational biologist (or computational neuroscientist). Systems biology as a label is a subset of computational biology, and like computational biology also has many domain-specific applications. Whether it is molecular pathways, cellular modelling, etc. Sure its a new term for something people have been doing for awhile, but at this point its been around long enough for it not to be just a buzzword.

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Computational neuroscientists would agree that they're "just" computational biologists who work on neuroscience. It's the word "systems" that's in question here. As you point out, this ship has sailed already, so I suppose we're mostly just kvetching.

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Systems come in all shapes and sizes. I figure it isn't worth nitpicking over the relative complexity of the systems or the math. After all, someone could be doing some really complex mathematical modelling on some metabolic pathways, and someone might be doing some extremely simple modelling on a neuronal system.

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I don't think anyone can make the statement/question itself any simpler in terms of language. If those particular terms confuse you, then you should start by reading about those terms to get a better understanding of them.

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thanks for all the help

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